Ideally, when your body realizes the presence of any bacteria or infection in your body, it usually reacts by inflammation. This is a state where your immune system produces an extra fluid to help fight the bacteria or the infection. As a result, it will reduce redness, heat, and swelling in the affected area.
Considering that this inflammation is not only uncomfortable but also painful, it is essential to have been the development of several ways to help cope with the condition. Use of steroids is one way through which you can help ease the symptoms. On the other hand, if the inflammation is mainly on the joints, this is referred to as arthritis.
Below is comprehensive information about steroids and arthritis. Read on to understand what they are and have more details on each of them.
What Are Steroids?
In a gist, steroids can be defined as human-made hormones designed to work like natural hormones to reduce the inflammation. They are also commonly known as corticosteroids. Steroids are related to the cortisol hormone, which is a natural hormone that controls many body functions.
More often than not, steroids are used to treat arthritis. However, steroids are also necessary to help control other related conditions. The main working principle of steroids is that they help dampen an overactive immune response, thus reduce swelling.
Why Are Steroids Prescribed?
Though steroids are useful to help reduce inflammation, they are not administered under all conditions. Some of the conditions under which doctors may prescribe steroids are such as in cases of muscle wasting, which is mainly seen in AIDS. Additionally, steroids are used to treat the loss of testicular functions or delayed puberty.
Legal steroids are also used by athletes to help boost their performance. However, doctors are not allowed to prescribe this.
Are Steroids Illegal?
Without a doctor’s prescription, it is against the law to sell, distribute or possess steroids. Serious legal prosecutions can be administered to anyone caught having steroids illegally. Additionally, there are also state laws that prohibit the illegal use of steroids.
Being powerful hormones, the use of steroids affects the body in different ways. In some cases, the effects are both to all people regardless of age or sex. However, when abused, their symptoms are specific to sex and age. Some of the effects of steroids on men are such as:
- Painful erections
- Having their testicles shrink
- Development of breast
- Decreased sperm count
On the Other Hand, the Effects of Steroids On Women Include:
- Have deepened voices
- Enlarged clitoris
- Reduced breast size
- Masculinized female fetus
- Have menstruation irregularities
- Have an excess face and body hair
Symptoms Common to Both Gender Include:
- Heart attacks
- Enlarged heart
- High levels of bad cholesterol
- Have tendon rupture
- The short height as a result of arrested bone growth
- Long term masculinization in females
Benefits of Steroids
Despite the several side effects when abused, steroids have some benefits to the body. Some of these are such organ saving and thus lifesaving. They can be used to reduce inflammation of organs such as kidneys which eventually leads to kidney failure. This also helps eliminate the need for kidney transplant and failure. When taken in low doses, it helps relieve pain and stiffness for people with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. High doses help one recover from a severe flare-up of arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
As mentioned above, arthritis is the inflammation of joints, thus causing pain and stiffness. This is a condition that worsens with age. Additionally, it is a condition that can affect one or several joints in the body. More often than not, the symptoms of arthritis develop over time. However, it is also possible for them to appear suddenly. It is most common in people who are above 65 years, but also possible to find them in children. Additionally, it is also common in women than men, and also likely to people who are overweight.
Causes of Arthritis
Different types of arthritis are all caused by various reasons. However, some of the major causes of arthritis are:
- Metabolic abnormalities
- Hereditary factors
- Indirect and direct effects of infections
- Having a misguided immune system
Arthritis can also be termed as a rheumatic disease. This means that it is a condition that is different from individual illnesses, with different treatments, features, prognosis and complications.
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
The major signs that will tell that you could have arthritis are:
- Stiffness especially after sitting for long or in the morning
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling, redness, and warmth
Other Symptoms Include:
- Chest pains
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Poor appetite
- High temperature and fever
- Weight loss
The diagnosis of steroids is mainly through the study of the symptoms, blood tests, x-rays and scans. When going for an arthritis diagnosis, ensure that you inform your doctor all the signs that you have even if you feel that they are not related to arthritis.
Although arthritis is a painful and uncomfortable condition, it is fortunate that there are several ways to treat it. Some of the main ways through which you can treat arthritis:
- Drugs such as Anavar that is supposed to be helpful in osteoporosis might provide some relief in Arthritis as well along with other medications
- Physical therapies
Whenever there is something unusual with any part of the body, you will be willing to give in your best to rectify it. Luckily, if arthritis or any related inflammation condition is your case, then you have a good solution in steroids. However, without the necessary knowledge of what they are how to use them, they could end up causing more harm than good. Use the information above to understand more about steroids and arthritis and how steroids are important to your body.
Harold Camaya is a healthy living blogger and advocate for alternative medicine.